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Breaking News: Maria Shriver endorses Barack Obama

Shriver In a dramatic moment at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, California First Lady Maria Shriver just strode out onto a stage that had already seen its share of celebrities -- Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder among them -- and announced that she was joining the Kennedy half of the family backing Barack Obama, reports our colleague Mark Z. Barabak, who is there.

More details will be posted shortly and in tomorrow's print edition, but Shriver reportedly was waiting backstage wavering over whether she should make her support public, and then finally strode out on stage. Her husband, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, earlier this week announced his endorsement for Sen. John McCain.

The Kennedy family has split over the two top Democratic contenders, with Ted Kennedy joined by Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg -- daughter of his brother John F. Kennedy -- and his son, U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, all going with Obama. Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert F. Kennedy, also went with the Illinois senator.

But Hillary Rodham Clinton picked up the support of three of Robert and Ethel's children -- Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Kerry Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

UPDATE: Shriver told the crowded gym that she had not intended to be at the rally, and had come straight over after going horse riding with her daughter. She joked about her appearance -- riding clothes, sans makeup and without having her hair done -- as she added her pitch for Obama.

"If Barack Obama was a state he'd be California," Shriver said, drawing roars from the crowd. "I mean think about it: diverse, open, smart, independent, oppose tradition, innovative, inspiring, dreamer, leader."

And she touched on the (see more of the blog post below the jump)...

For those of you who missed the C-SPAN coverage, it's here:

themes of optimism and collective action that Obama has sought to build his campaign around.

"He's not about himself. He's about the power of us and what we can do if we come together," Shriver said. "He is about empowering women, African Americans, Latinos, old people, young people. He's about empowering all of us."

Shriver, a former network television journalist, also acknowledged some uncertainty over taking such a public stand. "Sometimes, when you follow your own truth and your own voice, it's scary," she said. "But that's all you can do."

Shriver was on stage with Schlossberg, Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Shriver said she made the decision this morning. "I wasn't on the schedule," she said, "and I thought to myself when I woke up this morning, I thought, there's no other place I should be than right here."

-- Scott Martelle

 
Comments () | Archives (107)

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Yeeeeeaaaaaarrrrrrrrgh! Or something like that.

Great news! Excellent choice Maria.

Join the Movement, Obama for President
Obama '08

I'm glad to hear that Maria has joined in endorsing Obama. I heard her talk and she was inspiring, she understands the urgency of this election. She made it clear that California will be united in our support for Obama.

Don't forget that Obama also picked up Rory Kennedy's endorsement!

Yes we can!!

Pleasant surprise

This was a wonderful "California" moment! Maria Shriver's speech was as inspiring as those who proceeded her at the podium!

Go Maria: you are your own person! That took guts!!!! I'm proud

Rory Kennedy (daughter of Ethel & Bobby) has also endorsed Obama. Her opinion appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on February 2.

WOW, Maria Shriver !!!! The First Lady of California. Who would thought about this on a superbowl weekend? Well, good news that will circulate all along California, Arizona and Many other super Tuesday States: I Think it's time for Obama to be photo-op and make ads like the Caroline Kennedy's one, featuring all these icons' endorsements.

The truth is he has proven and convinced (better than Hillary Clinton) that he can be the best leader for America, that why he picks the support.
"A President Like My Father..." GO OBAMA 08'

Glad to see one more person get off the fence in favor of Obama. You need look no further than the Hillary campaign's push poll tactics here in California to see that while a vote for her might break new ground by putting her (and Bill) back in the White House, it won't bring much in terms of real change to this country. I love that Obama and his campaign don't talk down to voters (the underlying assumption of a push poll is that you won't catch on to the fact that you are being manipulated and participating in a fake survey ... i.e. that you are dumb). I'm hoping California independents won't fall for Clinton's dirty play.

I am extremely appalled at the manner in which Michelle Obama did not apologize to Stevie Wonder's fall on the stage. It just clearly show her political opportunism and further added by the indifference of Caroline Kennedy and Oprah during the incident. Michelle Obama preferred to smile at the camera than to guide Stevie Wonder as they went up the stairs.

I did not hear any concrete programs from Michelle Obama that her husband promises to carry, instead she want on ranting on narrative rhetoric. Maria Shriver's endorsement was a clear indication that the cogs and wheels of Obama's campaign machinery solely belongs to the Kennedy-Winfrey alliance.

Maria Shriver's decision was totally unexpected but so welcome as was Stevie Wonder's appearance. She and millions more know we've been waiting 40 years for the dream to come alive again. It's here, and we have to make it reality this time. GO OBAMA!

What an opportunity for bipartisan action?!! Unified leaders are critically needed to start a national effort to stop global warming, regain control of energy supplies, and give American industry a viable product in both home and world markets.

Leadership could be demonstrated by support for a combination plan for solving climate change and oil dependency problems, with an economic stimulus package that is shown at Link.

This plan is far less expensive than solar panel solutions, though it does not exclude benefits of such.

It is much more acceptable than ethanol production plans that take cropland out of food production. It is much less expensive as well. However, it could make cellulose based ethanol a reasonable fuel choice.

It requires government encouragement of innovative thinking on the part of the public.

It would apply the full power of market forces.

(I have an interest in Miastrada, as well as an interest in the future.)

Jim Bullis

I was moved to tears by these incredible women, role models all of them for women everywhere. This was a great moment for me, my daughters and all of America's daughters. Women going into the polls will be compelled to vote their conscience and their hope for our children's future. Resoundingly their vote will be for Barack Obama.

Go Maria. Well, like Oprah said today in her speech in response to those who asked "...how dare she (Oprah) endorse Barack Obama?" ... Oprah said
"I'm a free woman." SO IS MARIA, a free woman. We are all free-er with Barack Obama as President...YES. WE.ARE.

This rally was so great! Michelle is an inspiration to us all and if she supports Obama, than so do I! Maria, was wonderful, off the cuff and real. This is what America needs more of, truth, honesty and inspiration!

To Michael's Mom: I think you spell it "yea!"

No wonder California is in such a mess. How is the Gov. expected to be anything when he doesn't even run his own household.? Now each of them has endorsed a Democrat, but in different political parties.

Posters like Toni are such obvious Hiillarymaniacs they can't see the forest through tthe trees.

My wife and I were Clinton fans until their true colors showed in the last two weeks with lies, push polls, distortions - anythihg to win.

Who wins with that kind of crap? John McCain that's who.

Obama is the most electable and the truest public servant

This story has me in tears. Ms Shriver's courage is truly amazing. And what she has to say about California and Senator Obama is all profoundly correct. Think of Bill Clinton attacking Ted Kennedy and identifying him with Pres. Bush on the No Child Left Behind bill, which Hillary herself had supported. In the face of such sleaze and smear, mean tactics, Ms. Shriver's brave and clear words can only move us citizens deeply.

I'm endorsing Senator Hillary Clinton! We need a real leader!

Toni -
How do you know what she said to him? I'm appalled that you would jump to the conclusion that she didn't. His assistant was standing right next to him, someone who is accustomed to assisting him. She didn't trip him, he fell up the step. Its obvious you are looking for a reason to gripe. If you looked at the last debate it was quite substantive. Bill never speaks of Hill's plans either. You don't have to vote for him but let it be over something that isn't so petty.

As much as we welcome all the endorsements of Obama, the endorsements will only matter if all of us who believe in the Obama vision get our butts up and vote on Tuesday and help move the greatest country on earth to a new height.

VOTERS BE WARNED: DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING WHAT YOU READ OR HEAR ESPECIALLY THE SUPER TUESDAY IS ON THE HORIZON - THERE IS A LOT OF MEDIA MANIPULATION, NEGATIVE ADS WILL BE COMING OUT. VOTERS YOU ARE THE DECIDING FACTOR - DON'T LET ANYONE TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU. DON'T BELIEVE ON POLLSTERS, PUNDITS, MEDIA, UNION, POLITICIAN AND CELEBRITY ENDORSERS - REGARDLESS IF SHE IS OPRAH WINFREY! ITS IN YOUR HAND NOW FOR YOU TO MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION WHAT DIRECTION YOU WANT OUR COUNTRY TO LEAD. THIS IS THE CRITICAL MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF UNITED STATE OF AMERICA THAT WE SHOULD VOTE WISELY AND PRUDENTLY FOR WE CANNOT AFFORD ANOTHER MISTAKE IN ELECTING A WRONG PRESIDENT "NOR" CANNOT AFFORD AN ON THE JOB TRAINING PRESIDENT TO RUN THE COUNTRY AT THE RATE OUR COUNTRY PROBLEMS: ECONOMY, WAR IN IRAQ, IMMIGRATION AND SO ON... ELECT THE MOST QUALIFIED PERSON WHO YOU THINK WILL LEAD OUR COUNTRY THE RIGHT DIRECTION ON DAY ONE! PLEASE NOTE BEAUTIFUL SPEECHES AND RHETORIC - IT IS NOT ENOUGH! WE NEED A TESTED LEADER WHO IS SMART AND HAS EXPERIENCE.
God Bless America!

YESSSSS GREAT NEWSS CALIFORNIA FOR OBAMA 08

RIGHT ON! We are for politics of HOPE, not fear. Clintons peddle fear. They love the "game" of politics because they are good at the "sport". The Obamas are in it to SERVE our country (and thus the world). Huge difference!

Obama and supporters see the BIG PICTURE ... the need to UNITE and work together for the good of all. Reminds me of the "Governing Law of Dynamics" - remember that? (A Beautiful Mind)

I am moved to tears - have not seen this kind of hope since JFK.

BA-RACK THE VOTE !

lol Toni it must be a sad day for you !!!!

Obama 08

Everyone on this blog site supports Obama so I should too. NOT!

Oh wait, I don't want to just follow what everyone else is doing. I want to make my own decision, a decision that's based on who will be the most qualified democrat to go up against mccain and win the white house.

Go Hillary!

Toni,

We saw things differently. Michelle did apologize to Stevie Wonder and ask if he was ok only she did it as she was helping him up and away from the microphone. There was no reason for her to make a big production of the apology, it was an accident.

Wow!!!! Borack is on fire. I tell you my husnad is supporting McCain and I was supporting Hillary but after I read an article that just came out, I will now support Borack Obama. Please look at the article by AP news. I really though Hillary health care was gong to be good. Eventhough she neve explained how she going to do it or what type of mandate she going to enforce. Well the truth is finally coming out. I hope all women find this information helpfull and now will be able to choose a canditate like Borack Obama. Hillary, you lost my vote. I dont liek you dis-honesty. Heres part of the article from AP news..you can go to the Washington post and read the complet article


WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday she might be willing to have workers' wages garnisheed if they refuse to buy health insurance to achieve coverage for all Americans.

Shame on you Hillary

I HOPE LA TIMES PUTS THE PUSH POLL S TACTICS ON ITS FRONT PAGE TOMMOROW MORNING. AND OBVIOUSLY THE SHRIVER ENDORSEMENT

Good Lord, are all the Kennedys drinking happy juice?

Obama is Happy Juice shallow. So yes, that makes him California...Hollywood, California.

The guy answers "Present" instead of "YES" or "NO" when voting.

Where is the substance? Where is the Substance?! And why is media giving him a free ride?

Wake up voters. Pay attention to the type of coverage we're not getting.


Oprah, Shriver, Michelle Obama, and Caroline Kennedy... what do they say other than the continuation of Barack's empty speeches and injecting race into this primary? They don't explain why his policies, which he follows Hillary Clinton's lead on, are better than Hillary's. I didn't have hope yesterday and the hype of hope is not going to help the economy; it will not save my home; it will not provide me with health insurance; and it does not provide for the security of our nation. Hillary also delivers hope but she backs it with proven results. So he opposed the war and he says this shows sound judgement, but with Rezko he didn't show good judgement. He opposed the war but he said in 2004 that if he actually had been put in the position to vote on it, then he didn't know how he would vote. Remember, he was not a senator at the time the resolution to authorize the use of force was voted on. His argument that he can win a debate with McCain on the war is to say he opposed it is ridiculous because the Republicans will portray his as weak on national security. Obama is not the answer. Talking about hope is not the same as delivering proven results. The choice for president is clear: Hillary Clinton is the best person to handle the economy, end the war; provide universal health care, save people's homes, and be tough on national security issues.

Toni - are you nuts?

Clearly, Michelle Obama fell down too - twice - and helped Stevie each time - and he is no lightweight ...

Get over yourself!

I find it so interesting when people say... "I don't hear specifics on how to challenge the problem" Do you honestly expect any candidate to give you a 400 page economic stimulus report that is co-authored by Warren Buffet, Jack Welch, and Allan Greenspan. I mean give me a break! These people have a very limited amount of time to connect and they have to discuss topics in a general nature in order to keep your attention.

This is great! Congratulations Barack, this one's for you.

Maria’s right, this is “a moment” for us all– a time in history when we can believe again in the American dream, transcend the partisan divide, and restore our image around the world. Obama has the judgment, wisdom, character and yes, experience to unite the country and address the challenges we face.

Liberals and conservatives, young and old, women and men, students and professionals, black, latino, asian, native american and white-- we're all coming together to elect a leader who inspires us to be a better nation.

Yes we can!

"Michelle Obama did not apologize to Stevie Wonder's fall on the stage."

Um, Toni....

How does one apologize TO a fall? Explain.

"Shriver told the crowded gym that she had not intended to be at the rally, and had come straight over after going horse riding with her daughter. She joked about her appearance -- riding clothes, sans makeup and without having her hair done -- as she added her pitch for Obama."

I don't think she needed to apologize. She looks better than I've ever seen her, and what she did today was positively beautiful.

Bravo Maria Your Still A Democrat

Toni:

Wonder's fall was an accident. Michelle was helping but she was not strong enough to ensure Wonder did not fall. There was a strong man beside Wonder and I think it was this man's responsibility to ensure the safety of Wonder. So, I think you might be too critical of Michelle.

We can be more understanding to each other and focus on the big issues. I was inspired by the rally. I hope you were so as well. I believe the country would be better with the leadership, wisdom, and decency of Obama.

I was there, and it was really exciting. I was wondering when or if Maria Shriver would endorse anyone, and was thinking about it while I was getting ready to go over there this morning. She was the secret, surprise, and the crowd went crazy. It was really a monumental event, and I'm so glad that I went. The heavy rain stopped just in time, and the sun was actually shining when we got out. I think the endorsement will really get baby boomer women to move to Obama. Maria Shriver is very influential in California. She had a lot to do with her husband's victories, and can do it again for Obama.

I love the way Michelle Obama did not bring attention to the fall on the stairs with Stevie Wonder. Clearly she did not want to embarrass him and choose to play it down so as not to assume how he would feel about it . She waited thoughtfully to let him speak of it if he felt he wanted to. She is gracious.

Michelle Obama's speech was one of the most riveting and powerful I have heard on the campaign trail. She gave us the information that Barack is not able to give us because he rarely starts a sentence with I. She told us where the origins of their beliefs come from and why their commitment is so deep. Thank God she did not drown us in policy details ---that's his job. Her job is give to us information that gives us a holistic understanding of who these incredible people are.

BRAVO. BEAUTIFULLLY DONE.

I can see it now. All summer long, Limbaugh/Coulter will foam at the mouth about Stevie falling down.

THIS day will be remembered! This unique day.

Congratulations to Sen. Obama for another Kennedy endorsement. I did not see any new endorsement announcements for Sen. Clinton today on your web site. I believe the New York Daily News and the Denver Post has endorsed her today. L.A. Times, please be fair when announcing endorsements. Besides, not all of us vote for a particular candidate based on their endorsements.

I think that every American voting on Super Tuesday or anytime, needs to vote with their heads and hearts, especially with their heads and not follow the endorsement leaders. Remember, your daily life is not the same as the individual endorsing a particular candidate. This is your vote, not theirs!

wonderful, wonderful. ALL of those women were on their game today!!! what a joy to see!!

I think American people are realizing that the politics of divide and conquer is dead. The clintons have been notorious of pitching black against latinos, men against women, white against black. This is a very bad politics of manipulation of people's emotions.

Obama is the best thing that could ever happen to this country since the death of JFK and Martin Luther King Jr. America needs Obama. We need more noble women like Maria Shriver.

If you still under hypnotic spell of Clintons, see the TRUTH and the truth will make you free. But if you still can't speak up to Clintons, then you will die that way. You may check yourself of stockholm syndrome

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger (or at least risk) in which the hostage has been placed. It so strange how people embrace their corrupter. This is the symptom I see in Clintons lovers

Toni makes an interesting point... or, rather, she casts an interesting attitude, similar to the hostility I saw this week outside the Kodak Theater, where Hillary supporters were saying and doing some of the most amazingly hateful things. I couldn't believe it, but some of the young Obama supporters said "Oh, heck yeah, you should SEE some of the stuff they do, all the time!" I wonder what they are afraid of. I wonder what drives them. Me, I'm looking forward to Tuesday.

'08-ing change this year! Obama!

This was just a preview of what we are going to see in the campaign ahead!!!!

Are you ready????

Toni posted that Michele Obama was unkind to Stevie Wonder when he stumbled trying to get up onto the stage at UCLA. I was watching that too and to be sure it was a very awkward moment. I don't think that Michele Obama abandoned Stevie as Toni suggests. I believe there was another person, a man, helping Stevie that communicated with Michele to go ahead, he would help Stevie. So she did.....she probably had enough trouble getting herself going up there. Keep in mind that the Obama events are not totally scripted like Hillary's events and human stuff happens. We need to be forgiving Toni.

 
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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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